Speeches by the Prime Minister

THRONE SPEECH 2022
PM Holness Remarks at the 1st Extraordinary Inter-Sessional Summit of the OACPS
Statement from Prime Minister Andrew Holness
Policy Statement – Prime Minister of Jamaica The Most Honourable Andrew Holness, ON, MP at the General Debate – 74Th Session of the United Nations General Assembly New York, 27th September 2019
Intervention by Prime Minister of Jamaica the Most Hon Andrew Holness, ON, MP at the EU-UN Spotlight Initiative High Level Event: Progress and Perspectives on Eliminating Violence Against Women and Girls, UNGA, New York
Report delivered by the Prime Minister of Jamaica The Most Honourable Andrew Holness, ON, MP  on behalf of the Climate Finance and Carbon Pricing Track
THRONE SPEECH 2022

THRONE SPEECH 2022

February, 10 2022
Throne Speech 2022

Keynote Address – Opening Ceremony for Jamaica Stock Exchange 17th Regional Investments and Capital Markets Conference On January 25, 2022

January, 27 2022
Thank you very much, Michael Anthony Cuffe. Let me acknowledge Pastor Adrian Johnson for his prayers earlier on. I know you probably have online the Honourable Phillip Pierre, Prime Minister of St Lucia and there might be other dignitaries online. Let me acknowledge Senator the Honourable Aubyn Hill, Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce. Mr Denzel Douglas, Leader of the Opposition of St Kitts and Nevis. Paula Cox, Minister of Finance, former premier of Bermuda Other members of the diplomatic corps and the consular corps Mr Julian Mair, Chairman of the Jamaica Stock Exchange Members of the board of the Jamaica Stock Exchange And the Jamaica Central Securities Depository (JCSD) Mr Steven Gooden, Chief Executive Officer, NCB Capital Markets Dr Marlene Street Forrest, Managing Director of the Jamaica Stock Exchange Our good friend, Mr Gregory Fisher, managing director and head of Emerging Markets, Fixed Income & Wealth Management at Jefferies And Mr David Zervos, Managing Director Chief Market Strategist of Jeffries Heads of regional stock exchanges, executive chairmen and heads of private sector groups Mr Andre Gooden, Group Business Development Manager of the Jamaica Stock Exchange Specially invited guests Members of the media Ladies and gentlemen, good evening. And you thought I was going to do this, keep my…

Official Opening of the New Headquarters of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade on January 19, 2022

January, 27 2022
I can report, but all protocols have been observed. There is an argument circulating, which I thought was complete, that there are no measures in place to address the current wave but when I entered this place, I sanitized my hands which is required and which most businesses do, and I encourage them to continue to do so. I noticed the physical distance maintained in gatherings and that is still required under the DRMA. I noticed that great effort was made to ensure that no more than 50 persons are gathered here. I did not ask the permanent secretary as to whether or not they were all vaccinated, but the rule for government events are that everyone who is present must certify their vaccination status, meaning present your vaccination card beforehand, and I see the permanent secretary nodding that the rule was followed. And I noticed that everyone is wearing their mask but in a specific way, I noticed that even at the microphone, which it is permitted that if you were singing or speaking, we could allow the removal of the mask. We had a lovely song presented and the singer kept her mask on and did an excellent…

Swearing-in of New Ministers On January 11, 2022

January, 11 2022
His Excellency the Most Honourable Sir Patrick Allen, newly minted Ministers; I'm not sure if I should say congratulations, some may even say it's commiserations but you have been chosen because I have confidence in you that you will be able to accomplish the tasks set for you. Our newly sworn-in Minister of Legal and Constitutional Affairs, you have a major task in front of you to reform Jamaica's laws, to start the process of reviewing our constitution and indeed the conversation has already begun about our status as a constitutional monarchy and the change that we would all like to see, but there is a process to achieving that and we want to make sure that we order all our steps appropriately and you will have the task of guiding that from the executive perspective. Increasingly Jamaica is required to comply with our international obligations, which oftentimes mean legislation and such legislation can sometimes be inconsistent with our own legal framework and our constitution and so greater effort would have to be put in to ensure that when we are required by virtue our treaties and other such things that we are signing onto, that when we do pass our…

Prime Minister Andrew Holness New Year’s Day Message 2022

January, 01 2022
I am sure we are all breathing a collective sigh of relief that we made it through one of the most challenging years; globally, nationally, and personally, in our lifetimes.  As Jamaica, like the world, tried to protect our population from the deadly virus, through measures such as curfews, lockdowns, mask-wearing and vaccination, these very measures which have kept us safe, have also disrupted our social routines, disrupted supply chains, disrupted livelihoods, and imposed on our freedoms. Globally, supply chain disruptions have caused inflation to rise and locally that has been reflected in price increases, particularly of food.  Governments have had to increase public debt in order to increase spending on social protection to cushion the fallout in employment and household income. In Jamaica’s case, because of prudent management, we built up fiscal buffers and we were able to reallocate resources within our Budget to deliver a record of over 100 billion dollars of social protection and recovery support without increasing borrowing. I understand that for some listening this may not seem like a big deal, however, in the past, shocks such as a storm, or commodity price shocks as we experienced in the 1970’s and 80’s, or a global financial recession…

Prime Minister Andrew Holness Christmas Message 2021

December, 25 2021
Christmas is the most anticipated time of the year. It’s our Jamaican tradition to clean up, spruce up, and decorate our homes and communities, sometimes with a fresh coat of paint and some pepper light.  There is an increased buzz of activities, peaking in Grand Market; signaling the preparation for families coming together, gifts, good cheer, good food, merriment for some and quietude for others. I believe we all know that it will not be Christmas as usual. Though we are happy at the signs of recovery so far and optimistic that it will continue to be robust and sharp, there are many Jamaicans who have not yet recovered livelihoods or income. The disruption in global supply chains has negatively impacted the cost of living, both in the availability and price of goods.  The COVID-19 Pandemic has altered our way of life, attenuating our movements, gatherings and interactions.  It has impacted everyone in some way, whether it is: the pan chicken person who saw significant dips in their revenue, the river rafting operator or the hotel worker who saw their earnings dry up almost overnight when the travel and tourism industry initially faced a global shutdown, the frontline workers who have…

STATEMENT OF THE HONORABLE PRIME MINISTER ANDREW HOLNESS, ON, MP TO THE WORLD LEADERS SUMMIT OF THE 26TH CONFERENCE OF PARTIES (COP 26)

November, 10 2021
TO THE UNITED NATIONS FRAMEWORK CONVENTION ON CLIMATE CHANGE (UNFCCC) Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom November 1-2, 2021 Mr President, Excellencies, Colleagues, On behalf of the people of Jamaica, I thank the Governments of the United Kingdom and the Italian Republic, for their strong commitment and leadership in hosting this COP 26 within the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, and for the excellent arrangements that have been made to keep us safe. The message is clear - climate change remains a pre-eminent priority for global action.  As we have come to appreciate with the pandemic, “no one is safe until everyone is safe”.  So too with CLIMATE CHANGE. All countries must act responsibly and with ambition, to preserve our climate for current and future generations. Importantly, the pandemic demonstrated that the world has the capacity to develop global solutions in record time when we believe and agree that the problem threatens our safety and security.  It also demonstrated the need for equity. Equity is similarly critical to our response to climate change. Countries that have profited the most from carbon over decades have a responsibility to make resources and technology available to others to adapt and transition to low carbon economies. This was…

National Heroes Day Message 2021

October, 17 2021
National Heroes Day is set aside as a public holiday each year to honour those great Jamaicans, who by their work and often ultimate sacrifice, revolted against slavery, secured our freedom, fought for equal rights and justice, guided our Independence, resisted oppression, and in so doing inspired a revolution and an awakening of self-pride and consciousness, not only in Jamaica as a nation but as black people all over the world. Today we honour the memory of Nanny of the Maroons, symbolic of the fierce and indomitable spirit of resistance in the face of overwhelming power, that has come to define the Jamaican ethos, “little but tallawah.” I speak of Sam Sharpe, though enslaved, he was a deacon and a teacher. He used his education and his religious standing to inspire his fellow enslaved to rise up against slavery. Sam Sharpe was hanged on May 23, 1832, he along with over 500 enslaved persons paid the ultimate sacrifice of their life for our freedom today. The 1801 Christmas Slave Rebellion he inspired would prove to be instrumental in bringing about the abolition of slavery in 1834. Thirty years after emancipation, there was very little meaningful improvement in the condition of…

STATEMENT BY PRIME MINISTER ANDREW HOLNESS, FOR THE FIRST AFRICA-CARICOM SUMMIT OF HEADS OF STATE AND GOVERNMENT

September, 07 2021
FIRST AFRICA-CARICOM SUMMIT OF HEADS OF STATE AND GOVERNMENT 7TH SEPTEMBER 2021 Theme: UNITY ACROSS CONTINENTS AND OCEANS: OPPORTUNITIES FOR DEEPENING INTEGRATION Mr. Chairman (and Brother Uhuru Kenyatta) Your Excellencies Friends Good morning and good afternoon. I am truly honoured to address this historic inaugural Africa-CARICOM Summit, a timely dialogue which can only strengthen our fraternal bonds. The common historical experiences between Africa and the Caribbean have been enriched by cultural, economic and political affinities. Potential untapped for centuries lies within our respective reaches as we not only develop national capacities, but engage opportunities for cooperation with each other across continents and oceans. The challenges of the last year and a half have reinforced the possibilities and value of the Africa-CARICOM relationship. Most critically, Jamaica and the Caribbean region benefitted greatly from the African Union’s provision of access to COVID-19 vaccines and other critical medical supplies through the innovative AMSP which has been a game changer for the continent and for us. The Africa Continental Free Trade Area is another - creating an enabling environment for the flow of investment and tourism. For Jamaica, there is potential in the agro-industry and logistics sectors, and Jamaican companies have already invested in Africa.…